Dye Headlines World Golf Hall of Fame's 2008 Induction Class

World Golf Hall of FameST. AUGUSTINE - The World Golf Hall of Fame is now 126 members strong after the inductions of 1963 Open Champion Sir Bob Charles, three-time Major Champion Denny Shute, distinguished amateur golfer Carol Semple Thompson, fabled writer Herbert Warren Wind, the first person to capture the first two Major Championships in one year, Craig Wood, and legendary golf course designer Pete Dye.

"This class really does exemplify the special qualities which set golf apart from other sports and makes it very special indeed," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem told the large crowd assembled on the lawn outside the World Golf Hall of Fame." 

Indeed, the 2008 Class amassed a large list of accomplishments and contributions to the game.

Charles, who was inducted under the Veterans Category, was a trailblazer for two groups. He became the first left-handed golfer to be inducted, as well as the first New Zealander to enter the Hall. His biggest victory was at the '63 Open Championship, but over his career he tallied more than 70 victories on five continents.

The New Zealander was also a pioneer with the putter, opting for a straight armed stroke instead of a more wristy motion favored by his competitors.

"He was a magic man with that putter," said Tony Jacklin, who presented Charles.

Sir Bob Charles, Pete Dye and Carol Semple Thompson

As for his other swing techniques, Charles developed his game away from the green partly by natural instinct, and partly by mimicking Ben Hogan, who Charles called "the best ball striker I've ever seen."

Charles said he got Hogan's "How I Golf" in 1954 but wasn't sure if he ever read it.

"But I did look at the pictures," he said.

While Charles was known for his mastery with the putter, Wind was known for his dexterity with the pen.

Wind's words are used to describe the most famous three-hole stretch in golf, Amen Corner, holes 11, 12 and 13 at Augusta National Golf Club. Wind coined the phrase in April 1958 while writing for Sports Illustrated as an intern.

Throughout his career Wind wrote for publications such as The New Yorker and Golf Digest in addition to Sports Illustrated, and wrote several books including "The Story of American Golf" and "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf," which he co-wrote with Hogan.

During his induction speech, Dye remembered Wind making a trip to the Dominican Republic to do an article on him for Golf Digest. Dye said he was elated that a well-known and well-respected journalist had come to write about him, but when the article finally came out, it had an unexpected opening line.

"About the second sentence in there, he said, ‘Pete Dye is totally illiterate in two languages, Spanish and English."

Wind certainly had a style all his own.

Dye also recalled watching one of his fellow inductees play golf.

"I'm the only one been around long enough that I know them both," Dye said of Wind and Shute. "But Denny Shute used to make exhibitions during World War II, and when I was a kid we used to go watch him play. He was really great."

Craig WoodShute's greatness carried him to three Major Championships (1933 Open Championship, 1936 and 1937 PGA Championships.) Until a guy named Tiger Woods came along, Shute held the title as the last man to win back-to-back PGA Championship titles until Woods accomplished the same feat in 1999 and 2000; the record stood for 63 years.

Wood holds two honors that can never be taken from him; in 1941, he became the first wire-to-wire winner of the Masters, and then won the U.S. Open the same year, becoming the first person to capture the first two Major Championships in one year.

Semple Thompson wasn't only honored to be inducted into this year's class, she felt "proud-ivileged" to be enshrined in St. Augustine.

"When my father was president of the United States Golf Association, he gave a lot of speeches, but he often had a little trouble - he was a little tongue‑tied once in a while," said Thompson. He was often very proud or very privileged to present something, and he ended up saying he was proud‑ivileged.  That's my word for the evening.  I'm certainly proud‑ivileged to be here, to be gaining entrance into the Hall of Fame, and I thank you very much."

Semple Thompson grew up in a family obsessed with golf, where the children had no choice but to play. Thompson was the only one of five who didn't quit the game. The golf world is certainly glad she stuck with it.

One of the most decorated amateurs in the history of the game, Thompson is one of only 11 golfers to win the U.S. Women's Amateur and British Ladies Open Amateur. She played on a record 12 USA Curtis Cup teams and captained the victorious 2006 and 2008 USA teams.

The greatness of her victories can be found in the company those successes have put her it.

Her seven overall USGA victories put her fifth on the all-time list, just behind Woods and Bobby Jones. And, she is one of only five players to have won three different USGA championships; she won the U.S. women's Senior Amateur, U.S. women's Mid-Amateur and the U.S. women's Amateur. The others to accomplish that feat are Jones, Woods, Arnold Palmer and Joanne Carter.

Without men like Dye, there would be no courses for performers like Charles, Thompson, Shute and Wood to forge their legacies on, and no tournaments for scribes like Wind to postulate about.

Dye is one of the most influential golf architects of the modern era, with designs such as Harbour Town Golf Links, Crooked Stick, PGA West, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, Whistling Straits and The PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Overall, Dye has crafted more than 120 courses.

Among the many honors Dye has received over the years are the 1995 Donald Ross Award from the American Society of Golf Course Architects, 2003 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of American, the 2004 PGA Distinguished Service Award and the 2005 PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was also a strong amateur golfer, finishing ahead of Palmer and Jack Nicklaus in the 1956 U.S. Open.

His presenter, Greg Norman, described Dye as, "a player who has tested us and a golf architect who has tested us even more."

Pete Dye's Case at the World Golf Hall of Fame

Norman also lauded Dye for his knowledge of sub-surface structure, his approach to irrigation and his ability to envision golf shots in his mind.

Dye was self-deprecating at times in his speech, but always charming and funny. He fondly remembered his bride, Alice, whom he's had as a partner in life and in professional golf course design for so many years. He recalled the people and places his work has connected him with, from his early days at the Urbana Country Club in Ohio to his work in the Dominican Republic to his recent adventures with TPC Sawgrass and commissioner Finchem. However, he most proudly beamed when he talked about his wife of almost 59 years. His presenter agreed, and said that if the World Golf Hall of Fame could've amended its rules, the pair deserved to be on stage together.

"They've been a team beyond all teams, and if the World Golf Hall of Fame could induct two people at the same time, Alice should be up here with Pete at the same time," said Norman.

The exhibit offering hundreds of artifacts and personal mementos of the 2008 class including Charles' 1963 Claret Jug, Dye's service awards, Semple Thompson's trophys and much more can be viewed at the World Golf Hall of Fame through October 2009. Their contributions and the legacies they've left in the game of golf will be remembered long after those artifacts are moved.

"Through their numerous accomplishments, each of these inductees has helped shape the game we all love," said Jack Peter, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame. "It is a privilege for the Hall of Fame to be able to share their legacies with golf fans throughout the world."

 

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